Philip Brewer's Writing Progress


Sunday, 28 December 2003

Jackie and I have been watching the episodes with commentary on "Firefly." I find them fascinating. (Happily for me, Jackie also finds them somewhat interesting.)

One of several interesting things is to hear how aware they are of the purpose of each scene. Many writers I know don't have that much insight into their own writing. They view it as more of an organic process--the story grows. It doesn't keep them from being good or great writers, but they achieve what they do through a kind of intuition.

I'm somewhere in between. I often write stuff simply because it seems to come next--following the action of the story, the characters pursuing their goals--without a clear insight into the purpose of the scene within the story. Later I often end up cutting those scenes. (The action needs to occur, but it doesn't need to be dramitized. Those scenes are often replaced with one or two lines in some later scene to mention that the action has taken place.)

One a somewhat-related note, I picked up Advanced Screenwriting by Linda Seger. Much of the first half is about structure, which I'm interested in, but already know pretty well. Still, there was some stuff that was new to me and a lot of stuff that I haven't really mastered. Now I'm up to the part on theme, which is so good and interesting and insightful that I put the book down just a couple of pages into that part, because I want to come back and read it more carefully.

It was too rainy to run, or even do our warm-up walk outdoors, but we walked on the treadmills and then lifted weights. We went to Pages for All Ages where we used gift certificates to buy a whole bunch of books. (I got an sf novel and an economics book, besides the screenwriting book.)


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